I would like to come back to the experience we were offered to take part in the ISYEC III in Kayseri, Turkey. After several animated KeyNotes & Workshops, sometimes exciting, sometimes a bit long. I particularly remember the interventions of Rana Dajani, and Farah Cherrif D’Ouezzan.
The theme was: inspiration, and some stories were really inspiring! The enormous positive point of this meeting is to note that all over the world, hundreds of small initiatives give birth to big projects! 35 nationalities were represented, for a stay under the sign of exchange and sharing!
The negative points
So, naturally, as a good Frenchman, I am obliged to make a few comments, I regret several points:
Not a single flag of the European Union, and in an event partly financed by Europe, it’s a shame…
Too few companies present; these events still have a hard time attracting entrepreneurs. There are still, I think, some apprehensions about the meeting of education / business / association, to my regret.
Not enough exchange time in my opinion.
Lack of identification of those present; moreover, as Anais from SoManyWay / SoManyTalent pointed out, setting up a trombinoscope briefly presenting the activities of the participants is an excellent idea, in order to move towards possible future partners.
What I enjoyed and even loved
Whether in a company, association or any other structure, when you work under the social aegis, sometimes you are a little tempted to give up: the road is long, and you often feel isolated. It is more than appreciable to note that from Yemen to the United States, thousands of people are working for youth and its future, all of them proposing crazy projects!
This kind of event is an opportunity to take the measure of the initiatives launched, each in our own corner, and to make them grow through encounter and duplicity! It is an opportunity to create bridges between our countries, our structures, our ideas, to go even further and to be filled with hope to continue in the same direction: enriching others, improving the human condition, creating value.
Special mention to the 31 volunteers present to welcome us and guide us throughout the event! And, also to Bernard, director of the French ERASMUS + Agency, who always has a good sense of humour, and also inspiring speeches about Others: top!
Kayseri, my impressions!
Calm down! No judgement, just observations on what we’ve seen of Kayseri.
To locate the city counts one million inhabitants, in central Turkey, and has an airport that connects with Istanbul every 25 minutes by three airlines; the planes are always armoured! The city is mainly used as a crossing point to visit the incredible Cappadocia.
I was struck by how little life there is in the city: little – not much? – bars or meeting places, very few cultural venues. The centre of life is a huge semi-covered market, a kind of ‘food hall’ where you can find mainly meat, dried fruits and vegetables, local products. Overall, very few international tourists, but a very warm welcome.
No matter where you are in the city you feel really safe; you see very few tagged buildings, or cars damaged other than by wear and tear. The university, even recent, is impeccable; the students / teachers / staff respect the place: no noise in the library, no cigarettes outside the smoking area.
There is a very strong submission of the people to the authority; the Turkish flag is present everywhere: in buses, airports, at the faculty … you will not forget where you are. Contrary to the image spread in France, there is very little reference to religion, but rather a Putinian cult in the presidency.
In spite of that, we feel a wind of resistance, through the few clues left within our reach. Young people want to travel, to leave. I also note that one speaker stressed the benefits of mobility, but also of returning home, to spread knowledge and help those who have not yet had this opportunity. This is – as a Frenchman – something that I, of course, cannot grasp, but perhaps I can understand. When you are born in Kayseri, and you have the opportunity to go to the European Union, I can’t imagine the slap in the face of all this freedom that is suddenly available to you: the sexual freedom to be able to have sex with both men and women, the freedom to go out to bars, clubs, to drink to excess with no other worries than to be in a drunk tank with parental morals, the freedom to think, to criticize political power, the freedom not to like your national anthem, the freedom to be able to talk freely about anything. The list is non-exhaustive, I do not think I can even identify everything that is available to us – and this opportunity is because we were born in the right country.
When I see this phenomenon, I feel like inviting MLP, LW and the whole Creole company to experience a mis in Kayseri, to understand. To understand several things:
The need for the European Union to invest massively in promoting mobility in Turkey, and globally in the Middle East, to allow generations of young people to see what freedom means, so that they can then blow this wind in their turn.
The need to commit oneself to young people by sharing good practices, by exchanging with the whole world, by creating connections with as many foreign structures as possible. Already to help young people, because they are French, Ukrainian, Yemeni or Bolivian, there is still a long way to go to train them, transform them and offer them opportunities for fulfilment. But also to understand the Other, to facilitate its integration as a country alongside the European Union, but also to integrate migrant individuals into our societies. Even coming from an immigrant background (Maltese / Italian), I had no idea of the chasms that exist between our territories, and therefore of the difficulty for migrants to absorb our cultures, and above all our freedoms.
Let’s stop there the political passage, Mamie is present on Facebook and risks teleporting to my home to break my legs. “Stop talking politics, especially with the company. You’re going to get into trouble, my son!
I invite you, in any case, to follow European and international events of this type by subscribing to the various accounts of the National Agency ERASMUS +, to know the initiatives, and to see what for many, really means to be European.
If you want to read more, go there 😉